Howliday Inn (Bunnicula Series)

Howliday Inn (Bunnicula Series)


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Howliday Inn (Bunnicula Series) by James Howe, Lynn Munsinger

Not a great place to visit, and you wouldn't want to live there

The Monroes have gone on vacation, leaving Harold and Chester at Chateau Bow-Wow -- not exactly a four-star hotel. On the animals' very first night there, the silence is pierced by a peculiar wake-up call -- an unearthly howl that makes Chester observe that the place should be called Howliday Inn.

But the mysterious cries in the night (Chester is convinced there are werewolves afoot) are just the beginning of the frightening goings-on. Soon animals start disappearing, and there are whispers of murder. Is checkout time at Chateau Bow-Wow going to come earlier than Harold and Chester anticipated?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781416928157
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date: 08/08/2006
Series: Bunnicula Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 48,682
Product dimensions: 5.12(w) x 7.62(h) x 0.60(d)
Lexile: 630L (what's this?)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

James Howe is the author of more than ninety books for young readers, including the modern classic Bunnicula and its highly popular sequels. In 2001, Howe published The Misfits, the story of four outcast seventh-graders who try to end name-calling in their school. The Misfits is now widely read and studied in middle schools throughout the country, and was the inspiration for the national movement known as No Name-Calling Week (, an event observed by thousands of middle and elementary schools annually. There are three companion novels to The Misfits: Totally Joe (2005), Addie on the Inside (2011), and Also Known as Elvis (2014). Howe’s many other books for children from preschool through teens frequently deal with the acceptance of difference and being true to oneself. Visit him online at

Lynn Munsinger was born in Massachusetts. She has illustrated more than ninety books for children -- bringing Wodney Wat, Tacky the Penguin, a porcupine named Fluffy, the Teeny Tiny Ghost, and Ogden Nash's Custard the Dragon to charming life. Her watercolor illustrations have been praised for their "classic quality" (Publishers Weekly) and "mix of wry humor and affection" (Booklist).

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

The Departure

Looking back on it now, I doubt that there was any way I could have imagined what lay ahead. After all, I'm not as well read as Chester, and except for the time I'd run away from home as a puppy and spent a fitful night under a neighbor's Porsche, I really had had very little experience of my own in the outside world. How could I have begun to imagine then what would befall me that fateful week in August?

If the memories of that week no longer make my blood run cold, they still have enough of a chilling effect to give me pause. Why, you may wonder, do I wish to stir them up now when I could so easily curl up in front of a nice warm radiator and think of happier times instead? The answer, a simple one really, is just this: whatever else may be said of that week, it was an adventure. And adventures, no matter how dark or disturbing to recall, are meant to be shared.

It Began innocently enough on a beautiful summer's day, the kind of day, I remember thinking, when the universe seems in perfect order and nothing can go wrong. A soft breeze ruffled the hairs along my neck. Birds chirped happily in the trees. A butterfly landed on my nose and would have stayed for a while, I think, if I hadn't sneezed him off. The sky was blue, the sun was gold, the grass was green. Such riches cannot be bought for any price, I thought, as I lay stretched out on the front lawn chewing contentedly on one of Mr. Monroe's new running shoes.

Without warning, my blissful mood was shattered, by the sound of Toby's voice coming from within the house.

"Why?" he keptrepeating, a bit unpleasantly.

His mother answered him in that ever-patient way of hers. "You've asked me several times, Toby, and I keep telling you the same thing. I know you're not happy about it, but we can't take them with us."

"But why? Why?" Toby insisted loudly. I noticed several butterflies flutter away from our yard defensively. "We've taken Harold and Chester on vacation with us before," he whined. My ears perked up. I was the topic of discussion.

"Just to the lake house, Toby, never on a car trip," Mrs. Monroe answered. "There won't be room. Besides, you know Harold gets carsick. You wouldn't want him to be miserable, would you?"

"No," Toby agreed sensibly, "I guess you're right."

Darn right she is, I thought.

"But I'm going to miss them, Mom," Toby added.

Mrs. Monroe's voice softened. "I know you are, Toby. We'll all miss them. But we'll be gone only a week, and then we'll see them again. Think of everything you'll have to tell Harold when you get home."

"Yeah, I guess so," Toby said, his voice trailing off in defeat. Poor kid, I thought, he's really broken tip. Well, I couldn't blame him. I was a lot of fun, after all, and it was natural he'd want to take me along. I mean, who would he play fetch-the-stick with? Whose tummy would he rub?

Suddenly, panic seized me. Who was going to feed us? I dropped my Adidas, moved quickly to the front door and began scratching on the screen.

"Hi, Harold," Toby said as he let me in. He looked at me sadly and put his arms around my neck. "I'm sorry, boy. Mom says we can't take you on vacation this time. I'll bet you feel real disappointed, huh?"

Who's going to feed me? I asked with my eyes.

"But don't worry. We'll be back in a week. It won't be so long. Still, you feel bad you're not going, don't you? I know."

Who's going to feed me? I pleaded, with a hint of a whimper.

"Oh, and if you're wondering what's going to happen to you while we're away..."

Yes? I asked, my eyes growing wider.

"...don't worry. Mom and Dad have that all figured out. See, Bunnicula is going to stay next door at Professor Mickelwhite's house..." I glanced over at the windowsill where the rabbit's cage was kept and saw that it had already been removed. I felt myself breaking into a cold sweat. What was going to happen to me? "...and you and Chester are going to be boarded."

Oh, I thought, feeling relieved immediately, that's all right then. Just one little detail troubled me: I didn't have the slightest idea what being boarded meant. I decided to find Chester and ask him about it, since Chester knows, or thinks he knows, something about almost everything.

When I found him, he was sitting in the back yard staring off into space. Chester, being a cat, is very good at staring off into space. He once explained to me that this was his way of meditating or, as he liked to put it, "getting mellow." At the moment I found him, he looked so mellow I thought there was a good chance of his ripening and rotting right there before my eyes if I didn't shake him out of it quickly.

"The Monroes are leaving, and they're going to do something to us with boards," I told him.

"Don't say hello or anything," Chester replied, without moving a muscle.

"Oh, sorry. Hello, Chester. How's it going?"

Chester just nodded his head slowly as if that were supposed to be telling me something. "Now what was that about boards?" he asked at last.

"I'm not sure. They're leaving,and they're going to tie us to boards or something, that's all I know.

Reading Group Guide

About the Book

“ . . . Hilarious and poignant . . . An upbeat and reassuring novel that encourages preteens and teens to celebrate their individuality.” —Publishers Weekly

« “Howe tells the truth about the pain and anger caused by jeers and name-calling in a fast, funny, tender story that will touch readers.” —Booklist, starred review

Bobby, Skeezie, Addie, and Joe are “the misfits.” Bobby is fat. Skeezie dresses like it’s 1957. Addie is tall, brainy, and outspoken. And Joe is gay. They’re used to being called names, but they know they’re better than the names they’re called.

Besides, they’ve always had each other when times got tough. And surviving seventh grade looks like it’s not going to be easy. Starting with Addie’s refusal to say the Pledge of Allegiance and her insistence on creating a new political party to run for student council, the Gang of Five, as the four friends call themselves, is in for the year of their lives. It’s a year in which they learn about politics and popularity, love and loss, and what it means to be a misfit. After years of insults, the Gang of Five is determined to stop name-calling at their school. Finally, they are going to stand up and be seen—not as the one-word jokes their classmates have tried to reduce them to, but as the full, complicated human beings they are just beginning to discover they truly are.

Discussion Topics

• Why do you think the author chose the character of Bobby Goodspeed to tell the story of The Misfits? Could you see another character narrating the novel instead? How would the novel be different with another narrator? How is Bobby wise beyond his years?

• The Misfits is a uniquely written novel. Part of the story is written in prose and part of it is in a play format. Do you like this style of writing? Did it help you to learn more about the characters as you were reading?

• Celebrating one’s individuality is a strong theme throughout The Misfits. Which characters “celebrate their individuality” more than others?

• We don’t learn that Bobby’s mother has died until halfway through the novel. Does learning this important fact about Bobby’s life enable us to understand him better? Why do you think the author chose to withhold this information about Bobby until halfway through the story?

• Other characters in The Misfits have also endured a loss. These losses have shaped their personalities and have affected each of them differently. Discuss how this is so. Is there a “right” way to deal with loss?

• How do you feel about the character of Addie? Do you find her frustrating, or refreshingly honest? Would you be friends with Addie if you had the opportunity? Can you sympathize with Ms. Wyman regarding her feelings toward Addie? Do you think that Ms. Wyman was once a little like Addie when she was younger? And how is Addie ultimately like Ms. Wyman?

• Bobby, Skeezie, Addie, and Joe rebel against name-calling and base the platform for their new political party on banishing name-calling. However, they are guilty of calling people names themselves. Cite examples throughout the book where they fall into this trap. Do you think they realize that they are name-callers? Is name-calling a natural part of who we are or is it learned? Can name-calling ever be a positive thing?

• Examine and discuss the following pairings: Bobby and Mr. Kellerman, Addie and Ms. Wyman, Joe and Colin. How does each relationship demonstrate how people who seem outwardly very different can actually be very much alike?

• The role of family is significant in the development of each character in The Misfits. Talk about each character’s connection with his or her family. How do the families help to define each character?

• Bobby is surprised to discover that Pam was not popular when she was his age. How is this eye-opening and ultimately inspiring for Bobby? Do you think that Ms. Wyman, Mr. Kellerman and Bobby’s dad were “popular” when they were in seventh grade, or do you think they were more like the Gang of Five?

• Bobby tells his friends that his dad says, “It’s better to just get along [and] not make waves . . . [B]ringing attention can be a dangerous thing.” Why do you think he said this to Bobby?

• Mr. Kellerman makes the comment that “we’re all so ready to believe the worst about ourselves . . . we just accept them without even thinking about what they mean or even if they’re true.” Do you agree or disagree with him?

• Although the No-Name Party ultimately loses the student council election, Bobby puts the loss into perspective by saying “sometimes it is about winning something much bigger.” How does the No-Name Party “win” anyway? Can you think of other examples where something has been lost, but something much bigger has been won?

• The ending of The Misfits gives a glimpse into the Gang of Five’s future. What surprised you about the ending of the story? Can you try to predict how your circle of friends at school will end up one day? • After finishing the story, do you think Addie, Bobby, Skeezie, and Joe are really misfits?

• Does The Misfits present a realistic portrayal of life in middle school or junior high? Why or why not?

• After reading the book, do you wish that any of the characters were your friends? Who and why?

• Do you think it’s possible for two boys or two girls to go out together in your school? Why or why not?

• What do you think of the expression, “That’s so gay,” or “He/she is so gay”? Does being gay or not affect your opinion?

• Is your school and/or your community a safe place to be a “misfit”?

• What is the difference between seeing someone as “different” from you and “less than” you?

• Do you think it’s possible for a mixed-race couple to date in your school? Why or why not?

• Why does Addie refuse to say the Pledge of Allegiance? What do you think of her position? Do you agree or disagree with the position of the principal, Mr. Kiley?

• Of all the characters in the book, who do you think shows the most courage and why?

• Do you think the resolution of the story is realistic or a fairy-tale ending? Is it better for fiction to reflect the way things are or point the way to how things could be?

• Is it possible for unpopular kids to be friends with—or go out with —popular kids? If not, what gets in the way of making this possible?

• Addie, Joe, Bobby, and Skeezie are strong characters. What are their strengths and how do these strengths help them?

• Addie makes assumptions about DuShawn. What are they and what does she learn that’s different from what she thought? Discuss other assumptions the characters make and what they’re based on. What assumptions do you make about groups or types of people?

• Discuss the character of Kelsey. What is it that makes someone “painfully” shy?

Activities and Research

• Research the history of name-calling. Did you know that in the past, people were jailed or even killed for calling people names? Research historical situations where this was an outcome of name-calling. Can name-calling still carry significant consequences in today’s world? When has name-calling been used to oppress people?

• Cite situations today where name-calling is used to ruin a person’s reputation. Provide current examples involving celebrities, members of the media, politicians, or local figures by reading the newspaper or scanning the Internet for several days or a week.

• Find out more about the different political parties that exist in the United States, other than the Republican and Democratic parties. Why and when were these political parties launched, and what do they stand for? What party would you join?

• If you had the opportunity to create a new political party for a school election, what would your platform be? How would you promote the party? Design several potential election posters with different logos and share them with your classmates.

• Talk with your parents, grandparents, a teacher, or an older sibling about their experiences in middle school or junior high. Do they reveal anything surprising? Did you have any preconceived notions about that time in their lives, only to find out that they were actually very different?

• Research the history of the Pledge of Allegiance and the controversies that have arisen over its use in schools and students’ refusal to participate in its recital.

• Research the experiences of gay students in the past and the present. An excellent resource is, the website of GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network).

• Write about your own experiences of being a misfit, or what you imagine it is like for others who don’t fit into the mainstream in your school.

This reading group guide has been provided by Simon & Schuster for classroom, library, and reading group use. It may be reproduced in its entirety or excerpted for these purposes.

Customer Reviews

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Howliday Inn 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 29 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
These humor and adventure filled books were my stepmoms favorite books when she was my age and theyre my favorite now i think that these books will be the favorites of many more generations of kids they actuallyinspired me to start writing a series of novels and im in fith grade my point is that these are great books for children and tweens that will live on forever and might help you find your passion they did with me -bookworm
Suvorov More than 1 year ago
The Monroe family is off for a trip. Bunnicula will stay with a neighbor while Harold and Chester are doomed to stay at Chateau Bow-Wow. Guests at the boarding house are beginning to disappear and the caretakers are acting weird. Chester is determined to figure out who is responsible for these disappearances and drags a reluctant, and always hungry, Howard along for the ride. As with Bunnicula, Howliday Inn is a very smart and hilarious book. It is a perfect read aloud book and my daughter and I are having a great time working our way through the series. Chester is an intelligent and curious cat who is also prone to conspiracy theories, which always makes for a fun storyline. Harold is a happy go lucky, eager to please dog who just humors Chester by participating in the antics. Howe does a great job of coming up with new and interesting characters for this second installment of the Bunnicula series. I was a little disappointed that Bunnicula does not have a part in Howliday Inn, but Chester and Harold are interesting enough to make the read enjoyable. My daughter and I laugh out loud while reading this book and it is perfect for silly voices and facial expressions to accentuate the reading. Once again, not only did I have to explain some of the vocabulary, I actually had to look a couple up myself to accurately explain the definitions to my daughter. I consider that a plus since it introduces my daughter to a much wider vocabulary than the "whatever," "d'uh," and "OMG" vocabulary words she hears quite frequently. What a nice change of pace. I highly recommend Howliday Inn.
SleepDreamWrite More than 1 year ago
Harold and Chester are sent to an eerie looking hotel. Their owners are going on vacation. The dog and cat think there's something supernatural going on while their staying there. So they set to solve the mystery. All the while wanting to leave, hoping for their owners return. One of my childhood favorites. The old covers however were creepy in that spooky way. At least that's what I thought when I first saw those, while browsing the shelves. But didn't want to read this series at first. Having done so, these are good reads. For kids anyway.
MicheleLeesBookLove More than 1 year ago
I purchased this book. Howliday Inn is the second book in the Bunnicula series. Our favorite vampire bunny is missing in this one, as the Monroes are on vacation and four-legged detectives Harold and Chester are being boarded at Chateau Bow Wow, a facility that seems to be cursed or haunted as the occupants begin to disappear. Not-terribly-bright, but lovable Harold suspects murder. Clever, but overly paranoid Chester suspects werewolves. Then tragedy strikes, leaving Harold alone to try to stop what's going on (but he has to figure that out first). The first book in series had a camp-horror feel, but this one is heavily mystery. The goofiness of Harold blunts any potential darkness in the book, but might be distracting for kids used to savvy, smart leads. With crazy characters, a twist ending and a real bad guy, Howliday Inn is good for budding mystery lovers and pet lovers.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ever since in 4rth grade when I read 'The Celery Stalks at Midnight' I have loved Bunnicula books. In 5th grade I read Howliday Inn and it has been my favorite book ever since.
Anonymous 29 days ago
This sequel to 'Bunnicula' focuses on Chester and Harold and their adventures at Chateau BowWow. The author introduces a whole new cast of interesting characters, from a Poodle to a Bulldog to two Doxin dogs (who may or may not be crossbred with werewolves). All are fun to read about, especially once the mystery gets started. Was it kidnapping? Murder? A simple runaway? Harold and Chester must find out before it's too late! This is a solid follow-up to the first book, even though the titular rabbit character wasn't in the book much at all. Still, the characters get more development and are fleshed out very well. It was interesting to see their interactions with strangers as well as each other, and they were believable, too. I would recommend this book to children, pet lovers, and anybody who enjoyed the first book. It is a fascinating tale that will pull you into the mystery surrounding Chateau BowWow.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Chester was fummy and so was hairlod it is a mistory what is in this book read to find out
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You are a horible speller. It was unedited. This portion of my text will be unedited: this book was greatat bacase ai loved it so muxj that sja just qanted the next one so badoey!: i had to push myself to do that. If ou are looking for a real review, here is one. This is a wonderful page-turning murder mystery, filled with excitement and you may fond yourself holding your breath! ~ a NovaRose bookclubber.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read thus book at school and have goten it on the nook this a great book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is awesome
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is my favorite book! We read it last year in forth grade. I love this book, I would love this on my nook color!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is the most instesting book i ever read . First of all , this has exsitment in it i never read this book before im supose to be hering it in libery this year in school but im reading it at home on my nook
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You need toooo review and rate p.s i love your reviews!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im inn 6 th grade and i still like this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Howliday Inn is about a dog named Harold and a cat named Chester who go to a pet babysitting spot called Chateau Bow-Wow because their owners go on vacation and leave them there. They¿re soon caught up in a mystery of a missing guest, a dog named Lousie, at Chateau Bow-Wow and run into trouble! Then Chester goes missing and Harold wants to find Lousie and his best friend Chester before it¿s too late! Will he solve the mystery¿or will he never see Lousie and Chester ever again? In the story, there is Harold: A dog that is a little lazy. He always gets caught up in mysteries, Chester¿s schemes, and doesn¿t want to solve the mysteries. Chester: A stubborn cat that thinks he knows everything. He reads books and always thinks he solves the mysteries when he has a theory. I¿ve lost my dog before, have you? My parents were looking for her for a long time and I helped find her right away. So I know how Harold feels when someone he knows a lot is lost. I recommend this book to someone else because it is a really funny book, full of suspense, and makes you want to turn the page. I think you learn in this story to not be selfish because it causes more trouble.

By: Jack
Guest More than 1 year ago
It was a very good and funny book I will recomend this book to all my friends.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When i was young this was one of my favorite books to read next to the white fox chronicles. anyway, its about talking animals who are sent to an eerie hotel by their owners while their on vacation and so while over there they believe there is something supernatural going on and so set off to solve the mystery and of course wanting to leave all the while waiting for their owners to return of course.